Welcome to the Dear Book Nerd podcast, a bi-weekly show that answers your questions about life, love, and literature! This week my special guest is the wonderful Kat Yeh. Kat and I answer three listener-submitted questions and discuss topics such as what do to if you’re disappointed in a book that belongs to a series you love; how to respectfully diversify your reading, and how to focus on school assignments vs. pleasure reading. Be sure to check it out!
Kat is the author of the middle grade novel The Truth About Twinkie Pie (which was featured on the NPR’s Best Books of 2015 list, Chicago Public Library’s Best Fiction for older readers list, it was A Mighty Girl best book for tweens and tweens, AND it won for the Nerdy Book Club’s Best Middle grade fiction category) and also two picture books You’re Lovable to Me and The Magic Brush. You can find her on Twitter @yehface. Thank you, Kat!
Dear Book Nerd,
Do you have any advice for how to deal with “book disappointment”? I recently read the latest installment of a YA fantasy series I really love, and I expected it to be my favorite book of the year. Instead, I ended up disliking it. The plot and characters felt really inconsistent, and I don’t like the direction the story (and the romance) is taking. It’s disappointing because this was one of my favorite series, and now I’m not looking forward to the next book at all. Has this ever happened to you? Should I reserve my judgment and continue with the series anyway? There’s always the chance the next book will be better, but I’m a little wary now. Thanks for your time, and I love the podcast!
Dear Book Nerd,
I’m trying to read more diversely, or at least pay more attention to the diversity of the authors I’m reading. But this means I need to know the racial/ethnic identities of authors – both in the general sense of “is this a person of color?” and in the more particular sense, like what country they are from. Is there a reliable central place to get this info? And don’t just say “the internet”! Of course, some authors self-identify (for example[s], the “About” section of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s website clearly identifies that she grew up in Nigeria, and Isabel Allende’s complete biography on her website details that she is Chilean-American, born in Peru). For other authors, their websites may not say. It seems wrong and disrespectful to assume based on an image I might search, or how their name sounds. And I certainly don’t want to assume someone is white just because they don’t say, because part of the point of reading diversely is to get away from the “white as default” mentality. Help! Where do I get reliable biographical info about authors?
Dear Book Nerd,
I have a huge TBR list that seems to lengthen as days go by. I also have another list of books I need to tackle for school. Whenever I start a book for school, I only read it for ten minutes, after which I switch to pleasure reading. How do I get into school mandated reads? How should I divide my reading time to maintain my reading? Thank you!
Do you have a bookish question about life, love, or literature for Dear Book Nerd? Fill out the form below or email DearBookNerd@bookriot.com. Don’t be shy, ask away!